Monday, October 18, 2010

Lobster Mac and Cheese

My grocery store had lobster on sale this week. I love lobster but can’t eat much of it in anything because it is so rich.
By itself, I can keep up with the best of them. I’ve been known to knock off 2 tails in one sitting.

Adding fresh lobster to Mac and Cheese really is intense so you need just a little. I used about half of what this recipe called for.

I made this as a special side dish but will also use it as a main dish and serve with a wonderful salad.

Bon Appetit!

1 to 2 small lobsters or 3 lobster tails
8 ounces elbow macaroni
6 slices white sandwich bread for the bread crumb crust
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely diced yellow onion
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
2 ounces Italian fontina cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
3 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (1 cup), 1/3 cup reserved for topping
6 ounces extra sharp white-cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups), 1/3 reserved for topping
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (1 cup), 1/2 cup reserved for topping
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Black pepper to taste

1. Steam the lobsters (15 minutes), cool, pick out the meat then sauté in butter (7 minutes) and set aside
2. Cook and drain the pasta
3. Make the bread crumbs by tearing the bread into large pieces and pouring over melted butter.
4. Prepare the baking dishes by buttering eight 6-ounce shallow baking dishes or one 1 1/2-quart baking dish.
5. Make the cheese sauce: Melt butter in a 4-quart pot over medium heat, add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until bubbling but not browning, about 45 seconds. Add milk and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon (scrape across the bottom and around edge of pot to prevent scorching), until thickened, about 4 minutes. Add fontina, 2/3 cup grated Gruyere, 1 2/3 cups grated cheddar, and 1/2 cup Parmigianno-Reggiano, stirring until completely melted and sauce is smooth. Season with salt and pepper, add cayenne and nutmeg, and stir to combine.
6. Assemble and add cheese topping: Add pasta and lobster to sauce and stir to thoroughly combine. Pour into prepared baking dishes and sprinkle evenly with the reserved cheeses, followed by the bread crumbs.
7. Bake: Place dishes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until bubbling and cheese is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.